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Strengthening the Internal Quality Assurance Mechanisms in Open and Distance Learning Systems

Strengthening the Internal Quality Assurance Mechanisms in Open and Distance Learning Systems
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Author(s): Felix Kayode Olakulehin (National Open University of Nigeria Victoria Island, Nigeria)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch283

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Abstract

The term quality is a difficult concept to define. The concept is easily misconstrued because of its rather nebulous characteristics. While many people have a fair idea as to what they construe the quality of a phenomenon or an object to be, they find it difficult to define the term. Dictionaries define quality as degree of excellence. This suggests that quality is not some kind of fixed, immutable target or destination that may be attained merely by striving sufficiently hard, but a dynamic or moving target whose attainment at each point in time is facilitated by a set of strategies that are themselves also dynamic(Ekhaguere, 2006). In industrial organizations, where the assembly line production format is popular, control measures are used by managers to ascertain and sustain the credibility and standard of the product being released into the market. According to Duncan (1978) there are two types of control measures for goal attainment –feedback control and preventive control. While the feedback control is based on the information from the end-users of a product regarding the performance of the product, after they must have obtained and made use of it; preventive control relies on preventive planning to minimize variance or deviation in the production process. Quality assurance is a component of the preventive control mechanisms which involves ensuring that all intermediate products in production process conform as much as possible to specifications. It is believed that the lack of variance in intermediate products guarantees final product quality, all things being equal.

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